The Kitimat City Council met for their bi-monthly Regular Meeting Council on February 1st. The following is an abridged account of the meeting and the topics presented within. Mayor Joanne Monaghan called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. Not present was Councillor Gerd Gottschling
The first to be called up was Staff Sergent Steve Corp with the Monthly Policing Report. He introduced Sergent Steve Sumner who will be taking his place and added that they have a new officer, Constable Mark Taylor. He spoke to the Dare program which is going on and the Restorative Justice program where Kerry Davie has officially completed the aplication process. One case has already been selected for a first case for Restorative Justice, a minor mischief case.
Statistics for January came next. There were 12 common assaults, and 4 threats against persons. There were two break ins to businesses and two break ins to residences. There were a possession of cocain and 2 possessions of Marahuana. 2 people were caught distracted while driving. Monaghan welcomed the new member and was pleased to hear the Restorative Justice Program was now underway.
Bill Dawson came up to the stand next to speak to budget cutbacks. He stated he retired in Kitimat because of the services provided here. He said he would be willing to pay additional taxes to maintain these services. He did not want to see Council make cuts to the fire department.
Barb Campbell stepped up to speak to a grant for the Kitimat Softball Association. She was pleased to announce Kitimat was granted the honour of hosting the Provincial Championships on July 9th, 10th, and 11th. She stated they have a lot to do to organize this and asked for Councils' assistance through a $3000 grant.
The Kitimat Daily Reporter asked a question on whether or not the public would have an opportunity to express their concerns on the upcoming budget. Municipal Manager Trafford Hall replied the Council would encourage public involvement in the budget process. He explained all the meetings where the budget is to be discussed are open to the public and the media and he encouraged the public to come forward and speak to Council or contact them about the upcoming budget. He announced there will be full day meetings at the end of February.
Under motions, Councillor Mario Feldhoff wished to make a clarification. He wished to correct conclusions drawn by Phil Germuth in an article posted here
. He explained the motion was to set aside $25,000 to conduct a 3rd party study into whether or not Methanex was still viable in the community. He added he did not make the motion with KTIDS in mind.
The Softball Tournament Grant was quickly approved. Halyk said this was the kind of event Kitimat needed. Under the Snowflake Pin policy, Monaghan explained what the pin policy was. Feldhoff moved not to make any changes to pin policy at this time. He said the current policy is working and saw no need to change it. Councillor Randy Halyk saw this as promotion to the community. Monaghan said the pin represented pride in Kitimat. The motion was carried.
Councillor Bob Corless made a motion the Council support the financial request to the Department of Canadian Heritage for the grant for fireworks Canada Day. Halyk wanted to know who the Celebrate Canada Committee was in BC. Martin Gould explained Festivals Kitimat will be organizing Canada Day, working with the Kinsmen. The Fire Department puts on the fireworks. Feldhoff did not want to see the show get any shorter. Hall stated people who put on the display were in the audience and by now, they were experts on it.
Councillor Feldhoff made a motion to continue their policy of tying their remuneration increase to the BC Price index. He wished to make certain they were consistent. There was a debate over the amount before Feldhoff requested a tabling motion. Monaghan suggested they have asked departments to take a cut and they should consider doing the same.
The five year plan came up next. after the intro to the 5 year plan provided by Hall, Halyk read Kitimat’s Mission Statement: “To provide the highest quality of community life for citizens of all ages and to provide the highest quality of municipal services at the lowest possible costs.”
Halyk stated they could add to this and Hall said this would be a good exercise for an upcoming meeting. meeting. Council moved on to their statement of accounts for January.
Under Communications Feldhoff moved to renew membership dues at UBCM and NCLGA. Both motions were carried. A resolution deadline was accepted for information. Hall reminded the Councillors this was a good way to get clout behind Council’s motions for UBCM. Nominations for NCLGA were also received for information.
Under New Business, Halyk had a question about the Feasibilty Study. Hall stated they had met all the criteria for NDI Trust. Finally, there was an unusual demand by the government to have a member of the government sit on the steering committee.
His second item was about the Local Government Elections task force to ask Council and the public how they would change the election process in BC. He pulled out a question hoping it would get people interested. “If corporations should have the right to vote in Municipal Elections?” go to localelectiontaskforce.gov.ca to answer this and other questions.
Feldhoff moved to write a letter to speak against the corporate vote. He did not want to see corporations get the vote because it was carried.
Finally, Halyk stated the Cancer Society would like to hold a Daffodil Day. He suggested Council proclaim the Daffodil Day. Hall explained organized days go on a list of proclamations because. Mayor Monaghan offered to sign the proclamation.
Councillor Goffinet let everyone know the Kitimat Health Advocacy Group will be meeting on Saturday and extended an invitation to the people of Kitimat who are interested in Health Care. It is at 9:30 a.m. at the Chalet. Topics will include obstetrics and the Chemotherapy Nurse who has been hired.
Mayor Monaghan had a letter from the Family Literacy Night held at Nechako Elementary School. The counted 710 people coming through their doors. There were more than 60 volunteers running the events. McLaren attended the event and commented he had never seen so many kids in one place and everyone enjoyed themselves.
With that, the public portion was over and Council went in Camera.